Working from home- Why does my employer care about your insurance?
Insurance implications of working from home
Thanks to Covid-19, many employees have the flexibility to work from home. This can be either full time or a part of the week. This flexibility does increase the exposures for the employer and employees alike.
A homeowner’s insurance policy is meant to cover a home, a place where you reside. It is not designed to cover a business.
Even if the business is not your business, there is still business exposures that need to be addressed when working from home.
- Liability insurance coverage– your home insurance liability has an exclusion for all business-related activities. Therefore, if someone comes to your home for business purposes and is injured, there is no coverage under your policy. Nusiness liability can be endorsed on the policy for an additional cost to cover on premises exposure. However, remember that liability extended from the homeowner’s policy only provides on premises coverage.
- Property used in business – Generally, most carriers only allow $2500 for business personal property on premises and $250 off premises. Some carriers will offer more. So you need to check with your insurance agent. Additional limits can usually be purchased for an additional cost. So, are you using your personal items like desk, chair, and computer? If so, those items are now items used for business purpose and the limits would apply.
- Property of others– if the equipment like a phone or computer is loaned to you by your employer, then you should confirm with them that they have listed your home as a premises on their policy and extended their coverage to your location. If not, generally the policy includes $500 for property of others in your care, custody, and control. Many carriers will not allow you to increase this coverage.
Why would your employer want you to change your insurance?
Businessowners are trying to limit their exposure for employees working from home. Many employers are designing work from home or telework policy. Make sure that you review these policies carefully. You need to understand what it is that is you are expected to do and the coverage that you are required to have in place. Make sure that any requirements for insurance are forwarded them to your agent to review and discuss BEFORE signing the document.
The best way for the employer and the business to handle working from home is to do the following:
- Have the employer provide all equipment necessary for the business and for you to work from home. Especially computers and devices that are connecting to the company’s computers. This is so that they can have control over the equipment and to help reduce the cyber exposure. Please visit this blog working from home for more information on this topic. The new normal for working from home blog.
- The employer needs to list the premises that the employee as an insured premises on their business insurance. I.E. list the employees’ home as a location on their policy. In doing so they can have liability insurance protection at this location for business purposes. And they can add the business personal property insurance coverage to that location. In doing this, it is imperative that if the employee moves or relocates the equipment to another address that they notify the employer immediately.
- The employer needs to list that location on their workers compensation policy as a location. In the past if employees went to the office and the office was in MD all payroll was MD payroll. But now people may work from their home that is in VA, or PA for example. In these cases, those states need to be added to the workers compensation policy and the payroll moved to those states, accordingly.
Many people are enjoying working from home, but this is causing issues that have not been seen in the insurance world before now.
If you are working from home for your own business or working for someone else, then please let us know so that we can discuss the options with you for your insurance coverage. Or, if your business has employees working from home then please let us know so that we can make the appropriate adjustments to your coverage.
Contact Huff Insurance
If you are working from home and want some guidance for the insurance aspect, please feel free to call us at 410-647-1111.
If you are an employer and have questions about using remote employees, we can help you as well.
Don’t let remote working cost you your business. Call us today.